New York University President Emeritus Is Proud of Hoosier Roots
Dr. John Brademas, President Emeritus of New York University (NYU), delivered his address “Hoosier in the Big Apple” in the Wynne Courtroom before a crowd of students, faculty, and old friends such as former Congressman Andrew Jacobs, Jr. and Indiana Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan, Jr. He spoke proudly of his Hoosier roots. He was born and raised in South Bend and spent 22 years as a Congressional Representative for Indiana’s Third District (1959-1981), before moving to New York City to become the head of what is now, according to Brademas, “the largest private university in the world.”
Brademas shared stories of his years in Congress, including his work on the bill that became the Presidential Materials and Recordings Preservation Act of 1974, the law that declared former-President Nixon’s tapes and other materials to be public property, thereby permitting them to be published. His remarks also touched on the importance of his Greek ancestry and an early respect for education, which the Rhodes Scholar attributed to the influence of his family and in particular his maternal grandfather, a high school superintendent and college history professor who spoke often about politics. In addition to his Congressional career, Brademas is proud of presiding over the transformation of NYU from “a regional commuter institution” into “a national and international, residential research university.” When asked by an audience member what his recommendation would be for our university, Brademas noted that building on successes in the international area, as he had done at NYU, was one area in which both private universities like NYU and public ones like IU could excel.
Currently, the 77-year-old Brademas’ “retirement” from university administration has left him more time for civic engagement and a great deal of travel abroad. “In the last three months, I’ve been in Morocco, Madrid, Rome, Havana, Coral Gables and Washington, D.C. twice,” he told the audience. He served for seven years as Chairman on both President Clinton’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, as well as the National Endowment for Democracy. In recent years he has turned his attention to establishing at NYU a Center for the Study of Congress, which would bring together current and former members of Congress, as well as representatives of the executive and judicial branches, along with “journalists, students, parliamentarians from other countries, and scholars to discuss the processes, the ways, by which our national legislature influences and shapes policy as well as to discuss significant issues of public policy.”